What if they threw a Winter Olympics and nobody came?
February 10, 2002 5:55 PM   Subscribe

What if they threw a Winter Olympics and nobody came?... because they felt it was too cold? The Dutch Olympic team had a hard time finding someone to carry their flag, the winter "athletes" complained it was too cold to bother with.
posted by tsarfan (30 comments total)
That is too funny.

On the other hand, should Houston win the Summer Olympics bid, I can sympathize with anyone who wouldn't want to march in the 100 degree 100% humidity of a Texas summer.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:17 PM on February 10, 2002

Dutch media report that two Dutch skaters refused. The third person they asked agreed to do it.
posted by prolific at 6:46 PM on February 10, 2002

Netherlands part of Scandanavia ancestoral home of the Vikings. "That is sad".
posted by stbalbach at 6:46 PM on February 10, 2002

A Summer Olympics in Houston? Ooh, is that airborne petroleum fumes? Let's inhale that deeply as we run!
posted by solistrato at 6:52 PM on February 10, 2002

Many athletes are conspicuously absent from the parade of nations, because it's either too cold, too hot, because they don't want to stand around forever, because the hats are dumb, or because they think that they're too big a celebrity to march with the plebian athlete who hasn't a chance of finishing in the top 40 in their sport. This was the first time Michelle Kwan has been a part of the parade, but it's her third Olympic appearance. Bigshot torch runner Mario Lemieux couldn't move himself to march with the Canadian contingent. But a winter athlete complaining about the temperature? Quel ironique.

Btw, The Netherlands is not a part of Scandinavia.
posted by Dreama at 6:54 PM on February 10, 2002

Netherlands part of Scandanavia ancestoral home of the Vikings. "That is sad".

That's the worst clavdivs imitation I've ever seen. ;)

I see this mistake often, though. Why do people think the Netherlands are in Scandinavia?
posted by rodii at 6:58 PM on February 10, 2002

It's all those fair-skinned blonds, rodii. It's easy to get overwhelmed by.

Just to show my own ignorance (I'm not afraid to be labeled as such) what is the difference?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:13 PM on February 10, 2002

Why do people think the Netherlands are in Scandinavia?

I saw "Dutch" in the article and confused Danish with Denmark which is part of Scandinavia but of course Dutch and Danish are of Netherlands not Denmark which has nothing to do with pancakes or danishes.
posted by stbalbach at 7:15 PM on February 10, 2002

I guess now is not the time to declare "If you ain't Dutch you ain't much."
posted by insomnyuk at 7:23 PM on February 10, 2002

what is the difference?

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that anyone was stupid for not knowing this. The Netherlands (and Belgium, and Luxembourg) are nestled in between France and Germany. Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and in some definitions Finland) is north of Germany and the Baltic.
posted by rodii at 7:33 PM on February 10, 2002

(Traditionally, I believe, Scandinavia = Sweden , Norway, Denmark. We commonly, and not incorrectly, include Iceland, and finally Finland. Once all five are lumped together they are generally defined "Norden". I only mention this because it is the second time in 3-4 days that "Dutch" and "Scandinavian" went hand-in-hand in posts.)
carry on--
posted by G_Ask at 7:45 PM on February 10, 2002

I have now met my quota of learning a new thing each day. In the future, I shall attempt to refrain from lumping Scandinavians in with those nasty Netherlanders. Heh.

Is this all a cultural thing, or geographic? I must apologize for my ignorance again, I was educated in Utah public schools.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:57 PM on February 10, 2002

I am pleasantly unsurprised by this story.
posted by tpoh.org at 7:58 PM on February 10, 2002

erm, stbalbach, I agree on the Dutch/Denmark confusion being the root of this WHOLE BLOODY MESS, but Denmarkers are Danes. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark = the Melancholy Dane.
posted by EngineBeak at 8:00 PM on February 10, 2002

Not that I at all condone that characterization (of Hamlet).
posted by EngineBeak at 8:02 PM on February 10, 2002

Bigshot torch runner Mario Lemieux couldn't move himself to march with the Canadian contingent.

Jeez. Give the guy a break. He was busy. Sure it was an afternoon game, but considering he had to play again the next afternoon, it doesn't seem very smart to jet across the country in the early evening and then have to fly back in the early hours. In fact, I'm pretty sure that NONE of the NHL player competing in the Olympics were able to make the opening ceremonies.

However, props go out to guys like this: RW Miroslav Satan scored his 19th goal and fourth in the last six games Friday. After the game, he flew to Salt Lake City to play for his native Slovakia in Olympic hockey action Saturday and will meet the team in New Jersey on Sunday for the team's encounter with the Devils. (from CNNSI.com)
posted by Grum at 8:13 PM on February 10, 2002

mr_crash-davis-- not at all a big deal. actually, it happened recently in a crossword puzzle and threw my whole day off.
The clue was something like "Nice Havarti", the answer was "DutchTreat". ???
Yeah, so back on topic... maybe they were too embarrassed to march with a country that would be considered Scandinavian by Utah pulic school standards?? :)
posted by G_Ask at 8:14 PM on February 10, 2002

On the one hand, you would think that someone participating in the Olympics would want to be part of the whole experience of representing their country, and themselves in the opening celebration, regardless of how cold it might be. On the other hand, getting used to the changes in time zones, climate, and cultures can throw you off physically and mentally, and maybe adversely affect your ability to compete. I'm glad that the Iranians showed up, and got a warm reception. And it wasn't too cold for the Bermuda team (Patrick Singleton) to appear wearing Bermuda shorts.
posted by bragadocchio at 8:24 PM on February 10, 2002

Most Olympic athletes understand that the Opening Ceremonies, though symbolically intended to be for them, are really not for the athletes at all. It's a big media extravaganza for the people who put it together, for the worldwide audience, for the sponsors, etc. From the perspective of someone who only lifts his head up from exercise and training to check his blood pressure, it's very low on priority to walk in a parade with other athletes and sit in the stands to watch a lame presentation.

I'm reminded of the moment that marked the end of Nancy Kerrigan's fifteen minutes of fame. She conveyed to Mickey Mouse how lame she thought a parade was, and people realized she was a bitch. "Nancy who?" Kerrigan. The one assaulted by her competition's ex-husband People thought she was some kind of hero who survived an evil criminal act and persevered. "Oh. She didn't win, did she?" She got the silver. "So? She didn't win." Nope. I guess not.

This year I've noticed they've purposefully reversed the medal ceremonies, so that the bronze is presented first, then the silver and then the gold. I like that a lot. This might be minor to some, but I think the Salt Lake Olympic Committee wanted to show that it's not the gold that matters. I noticed that after all medals were presented and the american anthem played, snowboard US gold winner Kelly Clark asked the other two girls to climb up on the center step and stand with her.

Is it Win, Place or Show as if they're horses, or is the truth that they're all winners? Being an Olympian is in itself an impressive feat. It's not all about the gold. This year's Opening Ceremony tried to get that across along with its pomp & circumstance, but the athletes know that already.

I'm surprised Olympians of all countries don't boycott the Opening Ceremony en masse.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:27 PM on February 10, 2002

Another small indication that the Netherlands is one of the most civilized places on earth. Is that damning with faint praise?
posted by mlinksva at 8:29 PM on February 10, 2002

"RW Miroslav Satan scored his 19th goal and fourth in the last six games Friday. After the game, he flew to Salt Lake City to play for his native Slovakia in Olympic hockey action Saturday"

All hail Satan?

Nah, that's too easy.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:41 PM on February 10, 2002

mr_crash_davis... coincidence or not? Note the number that appears in the url to this yahoo page about Miroslav Satan: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/6/666/
posted by bragadocchio at 9:20 PM on February 10, 2002

re: satan; (as was posted, i believe, sometime a while ago) the espn indexers also use a directory pun: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/players/profile?statsId=0666
posted by pinto at 10:11 PM on February 10, 2002

Denmarkers are Danes

man I give up.. and we forget to mention Dutchmen and Holland. But this Norden FAQ seems to clear things up. And answer FAQs never knew existed.
posted by stbalbach at 11:01 PM on February 10, 2002

I'm Dutch. Sometimes I eat a Danish. I'll never be one.
posted by prolific at 2:27 AM on February 11, 2002


This is only Michelle Kwan's second Olympics as an Olympic team member. In 1994 she wasn't on the team -- she was an alternate, sent along to Lillehammer just in case Tonya Harding or Nancy Kerrigan couldn't skate. (Unusual circumstances, that year.) She couldn't enter the athletes' village, and of course, she wouldn't have been allowed to march in the parade. You aren't the only one to make this error, though. I've already seen it in a couple of newspaper stories.

If I were on the team, I would want to attend the ceremony, but I can understand why some don't. Attending the event is probably tiring, and if you are going to compete soon after, it might be better to stick to a more normal routine. I think Michelle's plan last time around was to train at home where she'd be more comfortable and less distracted, and head for Nagano later. Whether that hurt her or not, it's hard to say. I'm glad she's going to spend time in SLC before competing, this time around. The experience of being there is worth a lot and maybe she would regret missing it a second time.
posted by litlnemo at 6:25 AM on February 11, 2002

I thought the reverse presentation thing (bronze, silver, gold) was the way that things were done? Or have been done in any UK/European athletics/olympic meeting that I've ever seen.

And that Netherlands thing. That's very strange. At least I wouldn't make that sort of elementary mistake about another nation's geography. So where did you say Utah was again? Is that above or below Texas? :-)

that was supposed to be a joke
posted by nedrichards at 7:03 AM on February 11, 2002

wasn't the whole holland - netherlands - dutch issue solved in an episode of seinfeld? seriously...
posted by dogfiction at 2:44 PM on February 11, 2002

stbalbach, that is th emost useful thing i have ever found on the internet. i am going to bookmark it and refer to it often. I have some sort of inability to understand the whole dutch holland netherlands thing. my brain blocks it out, and forces my hands to wave in the air whilest i shout, "no, no, no - it's too much don't tell me..."
posted by goneill at 4:17 PM on February 11, 2002

Being Dutch as well, I'm understandably antistatist. "Ich bin ein Berliner! And I'm a Danish, too!"
posted by disso at 4:55 PM on February 11, 2002

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